Thursday, August 30, 2012

Blue Moon Rising

To my son Tommy,

One your favorite movies and songs right now is the Smurfs.  You run around the house singing that song and have watched the movie well over a dozen times.  It seems being young gives you not only an ability to tolerate annoying repetition but to crave it.  An important plot to this movie is the blue moon.

Like a being form myth and legend, the blue moon has been corrupted and adapted and blamed for everything from betrayals to births to cosmic disasters and other such hijinks.  You see there really isn't anything special about this moon.  It isn't even really blue and the reason they call it blue can be varied as the superstitions that surround it.

The technical definition is the third full moon of a season that will end up having four full moons.  But like so many things in this world that definition has been lost to the popular definition which is any month with 2 full moons in it.  So you see either way the blue moon is a construct of the human calendar.  To me it is a symbol that nature doesn't follow the numbering scheme of mankind, no matter how much humanity wants to order and organize events of nature.

Four full moons in a season happens nearly every three years.  The popular definition though more sporadic can happen years or even just months apart followed by a drought of sitings.  This moon tomorrow actually only fits the second definition.  So why even bring up tomorrows blue moon?  Well the romantic in me has to give a blue moon its due.  The phrase "once in a blue moon" might have become to mean a rare occurrence but even these rare occurrences happen pretty often.  Even more so if you use both definitions.  They say the next blue moon using the popular definition happens again in 2015 but if you use the technical definition next August we have another blue moon to look forward to.  Go and find your blue moon, marvel at the alignment of planets and nature and calendars and time, and then get back to the true blue moon that you have already found in the love of your family.

Sincerely with love from your dad,

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